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Basketball Spotlight:
Rance, Devils Tame Lions

Thursday, February 17, 2005

By Bob Heller
USIP Sports Information Director

Shelby Rance scored 26 points as the University of the Sciences women's basketball team shot a season high 57.4% from the field to defeat the Georgian Court University Lions, 89-57 tonight at the Bobby Morgan Arena.

The Devils connected on 39 of 68 shots from the field to record their season high of 57.4% shooting. The Lions made just 18 of 57 shots from the field (31.6%).

Rance (So, Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA) connected on 11 of 18 shots from the field and made four of five free throws to lead all scorers. Shelby also pulled down five rebounds and recorded four steals. Three other Devils joined Rance in reaching double figures in scoring: Stephanie Watson (Jr., Archbishop Ryan HS/Warminster, PA) (13 points); Leah Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/ Broomall, PA) (11 points) and Rashanna Edwards (So, West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Plainsboro, NJ) (10 points). Watson was 6-for-9 (1 3pt. FG) and had a game-high five assists. Shumoski turned in another steady performance, pulling down a team-high six rebounds, recording six steals, two blocks and two assists while shooting 4-for-10 from the field. Edwards connected on five of eight shots to account for her 10 points. Lori Wernik (So., Lower Cape May Twp. HS/Cape May, NJ) also recorded five assists, equally Watson's game-high mark.

Lauren Meyer (19 points) led three Georgian Court players in double figures. Melissa Elsbree and Stephanie Longdo each had 11 to help pace the Lions.

The Devils led wire-to-wire, opening the game by scoring the first 10 points and never looked back, leading by a double-digit margin for most of the first period. Georgian Court's three-point shooting did keep them from falling behind by no more than 15 at any given time in the period. The Lions connected on six of eight shots from beyond the arc, but made just four field goals from 19 feet or less, finishing the half shooting 10-for-26 (38.5%).

The Devils finished the half, the same way they started it, scoring 10 straight points in the final 1:48 to boost an 11 point lead, 43-32 to 21 points, 53-32 at the break. Watson started this run with a three-point field goal with 1:36 left and Rance followed with a layup and was fouled. Rance made the free throw to complete the three-point play and then added another layup off her own steal at the 1:02 mark. Watson then ended the run with a layup with just two ticks on the clock to complete the 10-0 run.

In the second half, USP used a 17-6 run to build their advantage to 31 points, 74-43 with 8:36 left. Five minutes later, the devils had their biggest lead, 35 points, 87-52. The Lions outscored the devils 5-2 over the final 3:18 to make the final score 89-57.

The Devils defense held the Lions to just eight second half field goals on 31 shots (25.8%). After allowing six '3-balls' in the first half, USP held the Lions to an 0-for-7 effort from beyond the arc in the second half. The Devils also finished the game with a slight advantage on the boards, 39-34 and committed just 15 turnovers to the Lions 26.

USP improved to 17-7 overall and 15-4 in league play, solidifying their third place position in the league standings. Georgian Court dropped to 4-20 overall and 3-17 in league play.

The Devils will have their final regular season home game on Saturday, February 19, 2005 when they host the Warriors of Nyack College.

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